Vintage Glass insulators were first produced in the 1850s for telegraph lines, then for telephone and power transmission lines. They insulated and protected the wooden poles from the electricity coursing through the wires. They are made from glass, porcelain or composite polymer materials (nonconductive materials). That was the insulator’s main purpose. Hemingray, Brookfield, and Whitall Tatum are some of the companies who made them. Glass insulators are perfect for upcycling projects, and with their industrial style, they are an excellent material for lights, candle holders, planter or other decorations. Their gorgeous colors and decorative edging, as well as the manufacturer’s markings, were works of art when aesthetics were important along with functionality. Here are some of the 30 best ideas we’ve found and that are made from old glass insulators.
Glass Insulator Candleholder & Tea Light
Upcycle a glass insulator as well as an old mattress spring. The spring fits quite nicely around the tapered top edge and creates a wide, stable base. Add some decorative ribbon or thread, and you’ve got a gorgeous upcycled candle holder. A rusty bed spring and a vintage aqua glass insulator make a cute little votive holder.
Can you picture these adorable lanterns lighting up your next outdoor party? Just add long twists of wire to create handles and hang them from the nearest nail or branch!
Who would’ve thought an industrial product that isn’t needed anymore could become an elegant centerpiece or mantle piece?
Combine two upcycled items to create a shabby-chic candle holder!
Old wood, including driftwood, vintage barn wood, and other wood that has a lot of character like old beetle holes, termite tunnels, etc., can add a LOT of interest to these rustic candle holders. If you’re worried about live critters, you can heat-treat the wood in the oven – just find YouTube videos on how to remove pine beetles from wood in the oven.
Turn upcycled old horseshoes and vintage insulators into this unique, stable, and stylish centerpiece for your table or to adorn a mantle. Beautifully rustic!
Make Vintage Glass Insulators into various Pendant Lamps and Chandeliers!
Who would’ve thought that thick, sturdy glass insulators could become part of this delicate, airy chandelier that could be used indoors or outdoors! It is a beautiful way to create unique artwork for your home.
Upcycle an old skeleton key and scrap wire into this curly-footed little candle holder that would add a touch of rustic elegance to any room!
- Michael Bruner
- Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
- Hardcover: 222 pages